International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Summaries & Evaluations

(Group 3)

VOL.: 52 (1991) (p. 315)

CAS No.: 75-00-3

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Chloroethane is produced by the hydrochlorination of ethylene. It is used in the manufacture of tetraethyllead, as an industrial ethylating agent, as a blowing agent in the production of polystyrene foam and as a local anaesthetic. Occupational exposure occurs during the production of tetraethyllead, and industrial emissions have led to detectable levels of chloroethane in ambient air.

5.2 Experimental carcinogenicity data

Chloroethane was tested for carcinogenicity in a two-year study in male and female B6C3F1 mice and Fischer 344 rats by inhalation. It induced uterine carcinomas in mice; marginal increases occurred in the incidence of hepatocellular tumours in female mice and in the incidence of alveolar/bronchiolar tumours in male mice. There was a marginal increase in the incidence of skin tumours in male rats, and a few uncommon glial-cell tumours occurred in female rats.

5.3 Human carcinogenicity data

No data were available to the Working Group.

5.4 Other relevant data

In single studies, chloroethane was mutagenic to bacteria but did not induce transformation in cultured mammalian cells.

5.5 Evaluation

There is limited evidence for the carcinogenicity of chloroethane in experimental animals.

No data were available from studies in humans on the carcinogenicity of chloroethane.

Overall evaluation

Chloroethane is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Subsequent evaluation: Vol. 71 (1999)


Last updated: 13 April 1999

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Chloroethane  (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 71, 1999)